Lake Erie Fishing Report December 2023

Fishing Report
Fishing Report

Fishing has been great on Lake Erie for Walleye, Perch, and Steelhead. Walleye and Perch fishing has been getting steadily better as the water gets closer to ice in. Steelhead fishing on the tributaries has been great at the mouths and throughout each river. Below is your Lake Erie Fishing Report.

Walleye Fishing

Walleye fishing has been great from Cleveland to the Islands. The Central basin was the place to be the past two weeks for larger fish. Tip for December Fishing: A lot of times fish are following your bait and not biting, stopping the lure acts as a break in the action to get a fish to react.

Cleveland – Lorain

Fishing from Cleveland to Lorain has been excellent that past few weeks. In Cleveland most anglers are trolling crankbaits in about 50 FOW during the day. Speed has been anywhere from 1.2 – 2.0 mph, with some speeds even faster. The At night anglers are trolling the breakwalls throughout the city. The piers have been hit or miss, depending on bait and wind conditions.

In Lorain the fish are in 40-45 FOW. Lots of good eater size fish in the 5-6 lb. range have been caught in the past few weeks. Trolling crankbaits has been the go to in this area. Speed has been the same as the Cleveland area. One tip that has worked for us is stalling baits while trolling.

Huron – Islands

Huron has been good, but not like past years. Fish are anywhere from 35-45 FOW in the area. Finding a school and staying on them in this area can be challenging. Trolling crankbaits in this area has had the best results.

Around the Islands has been better this year in December than in the past. There are fish North of the Cedar Point Dump, American Eagle Shoal, Kelley’s Island Shoal, Starve Island, and West of Catawba. There are more areas with fish, but it seems like they moved in there heavy in the past three weeks. Trolling rocky areas around the islands has produced some nice fish as well. Speed has been around 1.2 – 2.0 while trolling crankbaits.

Lake Erie Perch Fishing

Perch fishing has been excellent in early winter this year. It seems like the perch fishing in the Central Basin has been producing some nice fish. Inside the Lorain Harbor, Huron Pier, and Cleveland Harbor have all been producing some nice fish. Keep in the mind the limit is only 10 fish in the Central Basin. Anglers are using perch pounders or crappie rigs tipped with emerald shiners on the bottom. The key is to mark fish and bait in the same place. Perch are cold water feeders, if there is bait around there are perch.

Lake Erie Steelhead Fishing

Steelhead fishing has been good this winter already with a lot of big fish in the system. Lots of pictures of 10+ lb. fish pictures floating around. All rivers at this time have steelhead throughout the system. With the lack of rain this fall the rivers are still low, so finding a deep slow run will be the best fishing. A deep run on a river bend is also a good choice. Steelhead are still being caught on the piers as well. The fish will continue to trickle in until March. The best presentations the past few weeks have been minnow imitation flies, single beads, egg sacs, and jig/maggot combo. Fish your bait close to the bottom, you want to be bouncing it of bottom. Check out our stream flows page if you are looking to get out.

As always we hope this Lake Erie Fishing report helps you catch more fish in the next few weeks. We are enjoying the mild winter so far!